Stakeholders are being asked to comment on federal strategies for climate-smart agriculture and forestry initiatives. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a Federal Register Notice seeking feedback from farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners. Industry members will have until April 30 to provide input on federal climate strategy. The effort is a continuation of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.
“USDA is committed to addressing climate change through actions that are farmer, rancher, and forest landowner-focused and that create new market opportunities for the sector in a fair and equitable way,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. “We want your ideas on how to position the agriculture and forestry sectors to be leaders on climate smart practices to mitigate climate change. This includes making the most of USDA programs, developing new USDA-led climate strategies, strengthening existing markets and developing new markets that generate income.”
USDA is looking for information on four specific topics that include climate-smart agriculture and forestry. Input is being sought on biofuels, bioproducts, and renewable energy, along with catastrophic wildfire. USDA is also looking for input on the department’s performance in meeting the needs of disadvantaged communities in deploying its climate strategy.
In his Executive Order, President Biden has detailed agriculture’s role in addressing climate change concerns and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Sequestering carbon in soils, grasses, and other vegetation has been a point of emphasis for the Biden-Harris Administration. The sourcing of sustainable bioproducts and fuels is also included in the overall approach to issues of climate change.
USDA is actively engaged in a department-wide effort to combat the effects of climate change wherever possible. Conservation of natural resources, biodiversity, and lands are essential components of those efforts. USDA relies on industry engagement and collaboration, as well as partnerships to ensure the department is successful in meeting objectives.